I stumbled upon this thread in the ThornTree forum: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1644179&tstart=15
I'll be staying in major cities in Thailand, and in youth hostels. What precautions should I be taking?
Do youth hostels have fans/mozzie nets?
any help would be great! thanks
there'll be the risk of all mosquito-borne diseases endemic to the SEA countries now as it's mid-year monsoon season ie hot and wet. This means malaria, dengue and Chikungunya, although dengue will be the most common. Only truely effective way to protect yourself is to prevent being bitten e.g. with using insect repellent containing DEET etc. Also avoid or minimise mosquito breeding areas (pools of stagnant water)
I dunno abt the hostels in Thailand, never stayed in one.
Its just strange how the locals dont use mosquito repellents.
I tried shopping for DEET repellent, but what does the percentage mean?
If i get one with 20% DEET level, does that mean I apply more often, or more thorough than a 80% DEET level? I'm so confused...
According to http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/yellowBookCh2-InsectsArthropods.aspx
"In general, the more DEET a repellent contains, the longer it can protect against mosquito bites. Low concentrations provide shorter-duration protection than higher concentrations; however, there appears to be no added benefit of concentrations of more than 50% DEET."
I would think greater concentrations have a higher risk of skin irritation. Higher concentrations also have better protection against other bugs like ticks.
Concentration aside, the duration that the product stays on the skin also depends on whether it's a spray, gel or cream. Creams would stay on longer (and hence more effective) than a gel or spray due to more oil content.
Other ways to prevent mosquito bites are to cover up with long pants and long-sleeve tops (but this would be tough in SEA cos of the heat), wear light-coloured clothing and to avoid being outdoors between dusk and dawn as this is when mosquitoes are the most active.
Your local pharmacist should be able to advise more